Today is Friday the 13th. To some people, the unluckiest day of the year. But what if luck has nothing to do with, well, luck. Some people seem to have all the luck while others have none. What if there is a reason for that? In Catherine Cerveny’s The Rule of Luck, that theory is explored with interesting results.
Felicia Sevigny loves her job as a Tarot card reader. She is very good at it, able to see into people’s lives with uncanny accuracy. Or is she just lucky? When Russian Consortium heir apparent Alexei Petriv seeks a reading from Felicia, she senses a connection that is confirmed by both her gut and the cards. But these two would seem to have nothing in common and when Alexei leaves Felicia’s shop, she is sure she has seen the last of him. This beginning scene is full of portents and sets the reader up for a riveting read.
What follows is a constant stream of action, intrigue and future possibilities, mixed with emotion and blazing passion.
Ms. Cerveny has drawn a plausible and fascinating future world where the melting of polar ice has flooded the lower elevations and only the mountain ranges offer a dry existence. Having saved the world from chaos, One Gov now oversees the world. One Gov sets all the rules. Most of humanity, remembering the hard times, is grateful to One Gove and believes One Gov is right and good, if almighty and ironfisted.
Felicia is lucky to have a nice home, a boyfriend and great job. So she has very few beefs with One Gov, despite the fact that she is a bit different. While most of the population has been modified – genetically and with technology – Felicia has not gone down that path. Her Romani family has always been determined to remain purely human. Felicia occasionally wishes that were not true when she envies others their constant connection to the CN-net (Cerebral Neural Net). But her lack of connection also means that One Gov is not connected to her, giving her seeming privacy and control that others lack. This is a relevant paradox. Most of us have embraced our ability to constantly connect with technology, and thus pretty much everyone and everything. What do we give up for that?
Not everyone agrees with the control that One Gov exerts over the world. The Russian Consortium is a powerful organization that would like to change the status quo. They have achieved power through legitimate business using less than legitimate means to make sure they succeed. Having been groomed to assume leadership of the Consortium, Alexei Petriv is positioned to make the deal of the century. All he needs is a little luck. This deal will put the Consortium in a position to affect change. As I read, I found myself agreeing with Alexei – that change was needed. I wanted them to succeed, but was bothered by the methods. Change often hurts. That is something most of us know well on some scale or another. So should I cheer for the Consortium or not?
Between Felicia and Alexei, there is an intense physical connection. But they are such an unlikely pairing. A Tarot reader and a power player. I was alternatively hoping they would get together and wanting them to walk away from each other. Mostly I wanted Felicia to walk away. The story is told from her first person perspective. She seems to be a good person but is in a situation where she has little control, is kept in the dark and is constantly threatened from one source or another. Sometimes that source is Alexei. Luck seems to be on Felicia’s side as she continually withstands everything thrown at her, albeit sometimes barely.
Even at the end of the book, I haven’t really warmed up to Alexei, though I think he has potential. I am always looking for the ‘good guy’ and that is not a phrase I would use to describe Alexei. But his character is consistently dark and passionate and vital and I would not change him at all.
The development of the relationship between Felicia and Alexei is at a pace that parallels the development of the intrigue part of the plot. The connection and the passion begin as soon as they meet and continue to smolder throughout the action of The Rule of Luck. The combination of intrigue and romance is perfectly balanced so that I never felt I was missing any aspect of either.
The romance in The Rule of Luck is not pretty. While the passion is intense, the actual relationship is sometimes dark and unnerving. The ending is a HEA for now for Felicia and Alexei. Where the relationship is going is anybody’s guess.
I would describe The Rule of Luck as dark and itchy as opposed to warm and fuzzy. The future world is far from perfect with One Gov as big brother. The romance is steamy but tumultuous. The hero has a somewhat ambiguous agenda. And the heroine may just be in over her head. All of these features are exactly what make The Rule of Luck such a seductive read for me and why I can enthusiastically recommend it for SciFi Romance readers!
In addition to it being Friday the 13th, today is the one-year anniversary of my 1st post with Smart Girls Love SciFi Romance. It has really been a fun year, meeting new people and reading some awesome books. Thanks to all the Smart Girls followers who have stopped by, read my recommendations and, hopefully, found a great book to read!